Medical Cannabis Board considers allowing patients to grow plants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board is considering a possible recommendation to allow West Virginians eligible to use medical marijuana to grow their own plants.

Board members met virtually last week to discuss permitting patients to grow plants, although possible action will be made at a later date.

Gov. Jim Justice signed the state medical marijuana law in April 2017 to allow for the use of medical cannabis plants and products for treating certain medical conditions. Patients have been eligible to register for the program since February.

Rusty Williams, a patient advocate for the board, expressed concerns that once people can access medical cannabis from dispensaries, some patients may be unable to afford their medication or face challenges related to access.

“Our dispensaries are going to be pretty spread out throughout the state,” he said. “I’m worried that we’re going to have people who could potentially be a couple of counties away from access at a dispensary.”

Williams noted he does not believe people will grow their plants to sell medical cannabis on their own.

“If you give people the option to go to the dispensary and buy their products hassle-free, come home and medicate safely and legally, they’re going to do that,” he said. “The only people that are going to grow, in my opinion, are the folks that don’t have a choice or your occasional hobbyist.”

Williams is expected to put forward a proposal before the board’s next meeting.





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